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School walls are oozing with unhelpful growth mindset cheese….

If you walk around a lot of schools these days and absorb the MESSAGE that emanates from the walls, you are likely to find yourself saturated by an oozing motivational cheeze-fest. (That’s a typo but it seems appropriate to keep it.). FAIL: first attempt in learning Don’t give up until you are proud.  I can’t … Continue reading

School Houses: Joyous eccentricity, tradition, culture… and the rest.

Last week I was stuck on a train. I’d been to a school which has some great house names and, as I reflected on my own experience of  house systems in various schools, I put out a casual tweet.  Normally you get a few responses – a bit of passing interest – but the response … Continue reading

‘Research Says’ Fruit Machine: A staff-room game.

Here is a game to help develop your colleagues’ research literacy. Can you spot the bogus study? Can you generate a plausible cause-effect rationale? Ask someone to give you three numbers between 1 and 15.  Using the handy table, you then construct the sentence beginning with ‘Apparently, research says that’ For example: You get 2, … Continue reading

A common lesson format. A structure, not a straitjacket.

In my previous school we devised a common format for lessons through staff discussion. The aim was to support the process of embedding certain behaviour routines and expectations and, perhaps more crucially, some pedagogical practices.  This week a Headteacher told me they had borrowed the idea so I thought I would share it again.  This … Continue reading

5 Teaching Fundamentals

Originally, this was set to be  five-post series, but the first two didn’t seem to bite – so I’m making things easier (better) by putting it all into one post. The five teaching fundamentals are aspects of effective teaching that I think are absolutely essential but are often things that I find I need to … Continue reading

Priority One: Improving the Quality of Teaching. 

The dominant issue in delivering a great education to all young people in a school or college is to ensure that they are being taught well, by someone with the confidence, knowledge and skills required, relevant to the school/college context, in every lesson.  Recruiting, retaining and developing great teachers should be a total frontline priority.  It already is … Continue reading

3,000,000. Thank You! 🙏🏼

This post is a ritual milestone marker: 3 million views.  The 2 million mark was in March 2016. Lots has happened since then including changing the name of the blog; I’m much happier with teacherhead.com.  I like to record the major milestones but it takes a fair degree of geekery to have this level of … Continue reading

School Leadership – what an extraordinary job! 

One of the great joys of being a consultant and ex-Head is meeting leaders in their schools and colleges and hearing them share their thoughts. It’s always an amazing        privilege.  Without exception there is a sense of them being on a mission, a palpable purposefulness that drives them and enormous pride in … Continue reading

Teaching Fundamentals 2: Be precise about what you want to be learned.

  This is the second instalment in a series on teaching fundamentals: aspects of teaching that are vital to get right, but are often areas for improvement. Something that I see quite often when observing lessons is that teachers throw a lot of ideas up into the air during their exposition or questioning without being … Continue reading

Edu-Twitter Rules OK. 

I’m writing this reflection as my Twitter account recently passed the 50,000 followers milestone. It’s not something I ever expected to happen;  it doesn’t seem all that long ago when Vic Goddard sent me a tweet saying he was my 50th follower, back in May 2012.  For a long time I’ve been aware that a significant … Continue reading

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